Tourist Accommodation Start-up Advice
What do I need to consider?
Firstly there are a number of very important legal considerations in relation to becoming a tourist accommodation provider and you must comply with all relevant legislation, in particular the Tourism (Northern Ireland) Order 1992. This stipulates that all tourist accommodation providers must receive certification from Tourism NI before they are allowed to begin operating. It is illegal to offer tourist accommodation in Northern Ireland without a certificate from Tourism NI.
Starting any business can be difficult. The following documents provide advice and guidance on the requirements for starting a tourist accommodation business. If after reading this information you decide you would like to proceed you can access the relevant application forms at tourismni.com/forms
Accommodation start-up packs
Tourism NI has developed a series of comprehensive start-up guides for the eight different tourist accommodation categories that are certified by Tourism NI.
- Bed and Breakfast Start-up Guide
- Guest House Start-up Guide
- Bunk-House Start-up Guide
- Campus Accommodation Start-up Guide
- Guest Accommodation Start-up Guide
- Hostel Accommodation Start-up Guide
- Hotel Start-up Guide
- Self Catering Accommodation Start-up Guide
- Self Catering Kitchen Inventory
Additional statutory requirements
In order to become a certified tourist accommodation provider there are important legal aspects you have to consider. You must ensure that you comply with the fire safety legislation relevant to your premises. Environmental health clearance may be required from your local council and where necessary planning permission will be needed from your local planning office. Also where appropriate, if your premises has a private water supply, it must be registered with the Northern Ireland Drinking Water Inspectorate.
For more information on these requirements please see the legal and licensing section or visit the following websites:
- Fire compliance: https://www.nifrs.org/business-safety-advice/
- Local councils: www.direct.gov.uk
- Divisional Planning Offices: www.planningni.gov.uk
- Private water supplies: http://www.ni-environment.gov.uk/private_water.html
Certification Process for New Applicants
The certification process from the completion of application through to the issue or notification of refusal of a certificate normally takes up to eight weeks. Please note that tacit consent will not apply for reasons of public safety.
Certification application form
Once you have the appropriate statutory requirements in place you can complete and submit your certification application online here or by downloading and completing the following application:
Once you have completed this form please post it along with the relevant inspection fees to Tourism NI's Quality & Standards Unit, Floors 10 -12, Linum Chambers, Bedford Square, Bedford Street, Belfast BT2 7ES.
For more information on statutory inspections, fees and schedules, and tourist accommodation categories please see Tourist Accommodation Certification.